To combat this trend, and save $1 billion in fuel costs, the U.S. government wants to cap maximum speeds for all trucks and buses on highways throughout the country.
The proposal to limit the speed of vehicles over 26,000 pounds was submitted for review on August 26 by the NHTSA and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Caps of 60, 65 and 68 miles per hour are currently being considered by federal regulators. If approved, speed would be limited by electronic devices installed in the vehicles. The technology is already installed on 3.6 million big rig trucks in the U.S., just not activated.
Although many safety advocates believe this new proposed speed regulation will improve conditions on the road, not everyone is convinced. Many truck and bus drivers, as well as the Owner Operator Independent Drivers Association, believe that the forced speed limits will create dangerous situations when they are driving much slower than other vehicles on the roads.
The U.S. government will have the proposal posted for public comment for 60 days. After that point, it will be determined if the proposed rule should be accepted and, if so, at what speed limit cap.